WorldTeach: Marshall Islands Volunteer Teaching - Year

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About

Teach English, math or science in public schools around this unique island nation located in the central Pacific Ocean. Our Marshall Islands program is fully funded by the Marshall Islands Ministry of Education, excluding airfare.

Since 2002, WorldTeach in partnership with the Marshall Islands Public School System, has been providing volunteer teaching opportunities in the urban centers and remote outer islands of the Marshall Islands. The intermingling of tradition versus modernity is stark and the volunteer experience deeply depends on placement. An urban placement in Majuro or Ebeye is defined by the city and its more modern resources. An outer island placement is defined by the confines of the island and limited resources. The choice is yours, WorldTeach only places you on an outer island if you request a remote placement. In both settings, you will experience incredibly warm and welcoming people known for their exceptional hospitality and strong sense of community.

Highlights
  • Experience island life
  • Fully funded, excluding airfare
  • Contribute to previous academic progress
  • Varied housing options
  • Earn an accredited TEFL certification (optional)

Questions & Answers

Great question, Samantha! You can do our year programs as long as you have a Bachelor's Degree in any field. It does not have to be in English or Teaching alone. Let us know if you have any other questions. -Alex, WorldTeach

Rob, Thank you for your interest in a WorldTeach teaching position. Unfortunately, we only offer year long teaching positions to candidates who hold a degree. This is partly our policy, but the Ministries and Departments of Education we partner with require you hold a degree to teach in their schools as well. Summer teaching programs only require you are 18 or older, however we do not offer a...

Reviews

85%
based on 39 reviews
  • Benefits 8.2
  • Support 8
  • Fun 7.9
  • Facilities 7.6
  • Safety 8.1
Showing 1 - 8 of 39
Default avatar
Laura
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Memorable Experience

What a year. When I first got to the Marshall Islands, I was unsure of what I was getting myself into. There were unique aspects of the Marshallese culture that I had to adjust to, and teaching was especially hard. However, after a few months, I got into the swing of things and life became more natural. By the end of the year, I did not want to leave.

WorldTeach provides you with the necessities. You get a small stipend which is enough to survive on (but I would recommend bringing some savings). There is a three week orientation at the beginning of the year where they cover the basics life safety in the culture, some language, basic teaching principles. Once they send you into the your community, the field director will check on you throughout the year and is available in the case of an emergency. However, for the most part you are on your own. The best support comes from your fellow volunteers and within your own community.

During the course of this year, I felt like I had become part of such a special community and learned about these people far beyond what any traveler could see. Life in the Marshall Islands is slow and difficult. However, if you are up for the challenge, willing to step outside of your comfort zone and have an open mind, then the satisfaction you will feel from the impact you make and relationships you build, far exceed the obstacles.

What would you improve about this program?
It would be nice to receive some more support from the staff. I lived on the same island as the field director, yet never really developed a relationship with her. \
Default avatar
Camilla
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Review - Camilla Payne

My experience was excellent. The things that made it a little harder were the lack of teaching resources and training, which made settling into the new job a little harder. Otherwise, everything that comes with moving to a new country and living within a different language were to be expected.
Future participants should know that even though this is a tropical location that it will not be like a holiday. this is a working job where you should really put all your effort into doing to the best of you ability - even if you are finding the transition tough. Even though you will leave afterwards it doesn't mean that you can or should give up when things get a little tougher. Stick it out and you will be rewarded!

What would you improve about this program?
A more rigorous teaching and Marshallese language training given either throughout orientation or even throughout the year.
Default avatar
William
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Island Life

Having the opportunity to volunteer in the Marshall Islands through WorldTeach was an amazing experience that I would recommend to any graduate who wants to give back. It was an amazing experience! Getting to be immersed in the Marshallese culture was an enriching and rewarding experience. The Marshallese are some of the most welcoming and friendly people I've had the pleasure of meeting. Walking around the island you are invited into the community members homes to share meals and talk. You very quickly are seen as a member of the community and become involved with events from feasts to sporting competitions that are frequently held. It truly is an experience of a life time to visit, volunteer and become a member of a community that most people in the world don't know about let alone will ever have the opportunity to visit.

What would you improve about this program?
This program could be improved by adding additional opportunities to travel to other atolls during service.
Default avatar
Jennifer
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A good fit

I had always wanted to do an immersion program in another country. I was drawn to WorldTeach's programs because they only required a one year commitment (as opposed to the Peace Corps), although when it was time to leave, I seriously considered staying for another year because I realized that one year was not enough time to really make significant changes. In fact, I only started to "find my groove" at the start of the second semester. I did stay a few extra months and participated in a teacher training program on Majuro.

I chose to live on an outer island because I wanted the challenge of being totally out of my comfort zone. I definitely got what I asked for! If you choose the outer island experience, you will not have a lot of contact (especially not immediate) with home or fellow volunteers. That was difficult at times when you really wanted to talk to someone that could relate to what you are experiencing. However, there were arrangements made for occasional visits to other islands, semi regular radio check-ins, a volunteer contact assigned to help you get needed items from the main island, and good old fashion snail mail, which takes on a whole new meaning when you are relying on the inconsistency of the RMI planes to deliver much anticipated correspondence and care packages.

The program overall was a good fit for me. The return volunteer who interviewed me helped with my expectations as well, even going as far as to lend me items she found helpful during her time. While at times I felt really alone, when I really needed assistance, like when I needed to change host families, the field director came to my aid and facilitated the move with ease handling the delicate balance of not offending anyone while still getting me a more hospitable family.

Some of my favorite parts of the experience were the natural beauty that I was able to enjoy every day - the beach, the water, the trees; the friendships I made with other volunteers whom I never would have met in my little Midwest bubble; the ability to experience a different culture and people (while often frustrating) allowed me to see a different way of life, allowed me to slow down and reassess what I considered important; and the events and activities I was invited to participate in on my home island, such as first birthdays, small island picnics, and mat weaving lessons.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked more instruction in the Marshallese language and maybe something arranged for continued instruction while on island, although, I suppose that could be instigated by the volunteer. More teacher instruction during orientation particularly dealing with the obstacles that outer island volunteers will face and ways to work with limited resources. Also, some focus on outcomes and expectations - what is the end goal at your school? How do you plan to get there? This might be difficult however, due to the fact that the schools are all so different even among the outer islands.
Default avatar
Janaea
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Madness in Majol

Living in the Marshall Islands (I was on Guegeegue/Ebeye on Kwajalein Atoll) was definitely the most challenging, fun, and unique experience I have had. Although it required a lot of flexibility (months without wifi, limited school supplies, etc), I would never trade the relationships I formed with my students and coworkers. My favorite part about teaching was getting to know my students as individuals, not just students in my classroom. The island I was on was friendly and had a strong sense of community. WorldTeach was also incredibly supportive throughout the year and really made me feel like I wasn't alone. Although I missed my friends and family, I wouldn't change anything about my time there. Not only did I learn a lot about myself and the culture there, but I also got to enjoy countless sunrises and sunsets by the ocean/lagoon. It was breathtaking!

Default avatar
Katrina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching in the Marshall Islands

The year I spent volunteering in the Marshall Islands was truly unlike any other experience I've had in my life, before or since. It challenged me in ways that I never could have expected and also rewarded me with the chance to develop a greater sense of strength and independence. This was all in addition to the incredibly kind, warm, and welcoming community that I was fortunate enough to become a part of for my year in the RMI. This experience truly changed my life and some of my closest friends to this day are people that I met while volunteering with WorldTeach.

Default avatar
Rebekah
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life on a Strip of Land in the Middle of the Ocean

After graduating from Teachers College in Canada, I decided that I wanted to go overseas and expose myself to an entirely new way of life. I had previously taught and lived in other countries, but nothing as unique and remote as the Marshall Islands. I wanted to see how far my teaching skills would go, and how much I could learn in return. So in 2014 I set off with my boyfriend at the time to Majuro where I had a month of orientation with the other volunteers. It was an amazing experience and a good transition period for the volunteers to build a support system and a knowledge base of the cultural differences and way of life yet to come. We had an amazing Field Director Todd Mulroy and other World Teach Staff that provided so much support and great communication. After orientation we were all sent to the outer islands on either a small plane or a supply ship. I was sent to Namdrik Atoll which was no bigger than 2 square miles. We were surrounded by ocean on all sides and the islanders were so welcoming. Life there was extremely tough and isolated with few teaching resources but extremely rewarding. Namdrik had no internet or phones and the only communication was a radio to the main island. Mail was received sparsely by the small plane that landed occasionally. We ate mostly fish and coconuts and learned to live an ultra slow relaxed lifestyle where time had no relevance and priorities included sweeping up leaves or making copra. I could talk forever about this experience but given limited space I will just say that I highly recommend this program if you want to experience extreme conditions of cultural diversity and if you can handle limited communication with the rest of the world. The culture is entirely different from a North American one, but I promise it will change your life and the way you view poverty and education forever. - Rebekah Osio Vanden

What would you improve about this program?
The program could be improved by providing more teaching resources to the volunteers.
Response from WorldTeach

Hello Rebekah,

Thank you very much for leaving such a detailed and vivid description of life in the Marshall Islands for WorldTeach volunteers! We are very glad to hear it was a positive experience for you. Also, those pictures are wonderful! If you'd ever like to host the WorldTeach Instagram let us know at publicity@worldteach.org :-).

Thanks again Rebekah!

Best,

Caitlin

Default avatar
Okeoma
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Year That Changed the Course of My Life

The year I spent on Majuro teaching 3rd graders for WorldTeach truly changed the trajectory of my life. I met my husband and the father of my two boys while volunteering in the Marshalls. While I wouldn't recommend you apply for the program in hopes of meeting your true love, I would say that the relationships that I fostered with my fellow volunteers continue to be some of the most treasured friendships.

The program was a wonderful opportunity to become fully immersed in an environment, culture and community that is like no other. The work itself was frustrating and overwhelming at times, but also fulfilling, inspirational and downright fun! The Marshallese people are generally very kind and welcoming which really helps to get you through the hard times.